There is this “fact” about writers that has been bandied about since, I’m sure, the first cavemen began scrawling on walls:
We are never “finished” with a book, never satisfied, never happy, can always find things to tweak.
Somewhere or other I heard somebody say this the other day, and it got me thinking that…that’s really not true for me.
Certainly it used to be. Back in my pantsing days I had one book that I wrote literally 9 partial drafts of before finishing. I kept thinking of ways to change and tweak it. And it’s still buried in a drawer somewhere. But honestly, I think all of that was more a product of my being a pantser at that time and not having a clear grasp of story structure than because of any innate dissatisfaction with everything I write.
But these days…not so much. The work I’ve finished in the last three years, I’ve been really happy with. Each thing I’ve written has been the best I could make it at that time (I would never publish it if it wasn’t), and even looking back on it, I don’t see anything (other than the occasional typo) that I would change. Even in Forsaken By Shadow, the thing I got blasted for in multiple reviews (how they got into the military base being very contrived–it totally was), I look back and can’t see any other way to make it work.
I’m not sure if this is a product of the fact that these stories have been published and put out there for public consumption. I have this mental space where I don’t spend time on stories once they’re done and out there. Because as I’ve made abundantly clear, I never have a shortage of new ideas, and I am always excited to move on to the next thing. I don’t mull over past projects unless they somehow have bearing on a current one (like rereading my Mirus stuff in preparation for writing another Mirus something to check my world details–REALLY must get on that whole Series Bible thing).
Am I weird? Or is this whole “writers are eternal perfectionists that can’t let things go” thing just a fallacy?